Up in Chicago, I am about 850 miles from my family. We're a pretty tight family. Mom, Dad, my brothers Sam and Tommy, my sister-in-law Amber and my niece Bailey all live within a few miles of one another. Both of my remaining grandparents live there, too. Most of my aunts and uncles live in the Southeast as well. I am the lone midwesterner. However, the closest thing I have to a family is Cowlick.
Cowlick is the improv troupe that I got involved with a month after I moved up to Chicago. Man, what a great bunch. This picture was taken at a comedy festival in Chapel Hill, NC last February. With the exception of Sarah, who has moved to Boston, the group is still kicking. We rehearsed last night, which has been a relatively rare occasion recently. We're all so damned busy.
"Doing what?", you may ask. Well (clockwise from top-left), BJ has a wife, multiple homes, several real-estate jobs, and an enormous dog. Mary Beth works and spends time being adorable. Martin has school and work and lady-juggling to deal with. Sarah lives in Boston. Knauf is a man-about-town in the cafe/bistro circle and a semi-pro dancer. Scotty has a demanding job and a serious girlfriend. I do little. Shelby has a million projects, work, school, and a big, tall lover.
It's a whirlwind. Still, everytime we get together, I remember why I love these people so damned much. I also realize why it's sometimes tough for me to feel plugged-in to new groups that I become a part of up here. Right out of the gate I found a family-away-from-family. Hard to top that.